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High School Ice Hockey:
Third Period the Difference as Township Defeats Cinnaminson

Sunday, February 24, 2002

By Mike Costantino
SJSports Staff Writer

Jason Pelle scored early in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie and propel Washington Township to a 4-2 victory in game one of the semi-finals. Nick Martorano led Township with two goals and Anthony Mottola scored both Cinnaminson goals. Cinnaminson led 1-0 after the first period, scoring in the games first minute as Mottola ripped a shot from just inside the circle. Solid defense and strong goaltending are the strengths of Cinnaminson and that was the formula in the first period as Devin Kloss made several good saves including stopping Eric Marano twice from in close.

Township tied the game at 1-1 in the second period as Joe Pelle banged home a rebound off a Drew Peterson shot. With their offense starting to generate more chances, Township took the lead at 2-1 when Martorano one-timed a shot after Mike Duczkowski won the face-off and drew the puck back to Martorano at the point. Cinnaminson responded when Mottola put home the rebound off a shot by Steve Parent in the final minute of the second period and we were tied at 2-2 heading into the third period. Between periods Township Coach Schauffele made the decision to insert Dan Straga in nets. Sometimes that move could backfire, but Stargas' play made Coach Schauffele look like a genius.

Township took the lead for good as Pelle picked up an errant pass along the right boards and his shot through a screen beat Kloss and gave Township a 3-2 lead. Forty seconds later Martorano made it 4-2 depositing a rebound off a shot by Eric Marano. Straga made the lead stand as he stoned Mottola on a 2-on-1 break. In the games final minutes when Cinnaminson had a two-man advantage for sixty-six seconds, they pulled the goalie for an extra skater but could not put the puck by Straga. Game 2 is at Pensauken and Cinnaminson needs the win to stay alive.

Photos by Art Redd

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